Skip to main content

Hyderabad encounter a 'ploy' to shut down demand for accountability from police

Counterview Desk
The All-India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA), in a statement signed by Rati Rao, AIPWA president, Meena Tiwari, general secretary, and Kavita Krishnan, secretary, has said that the Hyderabad fake encounter has all the hallmarks of a custodial murder, insisting, "A system that offers murder as 'justice' is a system that is telling women -- we can't ensure the streets are safe, can't investigate crimes against women to ensure there's enough evidence to prove guilt, can't protect rape survivors."

Text:

The four suspects in the Hyderabad rape and murder case have been killed by the police in an early morning "encounter". This "encounter" has all the hallmarks of a custodial murder, dressed up to look like an "encounter".
Since the suspects were in police custody, and thus unarmed, it is clear that the police is lying when it claims they were killed when "attacking the police" at the crime scene where they had been taken to "recreate" the events of the night the rape-murder occurred.
We, as a country, will now be told that "justice" has been done, the victim avenged. And now we can all go back to business as usual, reassured that our police, our government, our society are righteous, and the evil rapists are no more.
But this justice is counterfeit. A system that offers murder as "justice" is a system that is telling women -- we can't ensure the streets are safe, can't investigate crimes against women to ensure there's enough evidence to prove guilt, can't protect rape survivors (one was burnt alive yesterday in UP), can't ensure that survivors get dignity in Court. All they can do is act like a lynch mob and ask us, the people, to accept lynching as the only possible justice.
We must also remember that these four men were suspects. We do not know if there was a shred of evidence proving their guilt, beyond the custodial confessions which police in India routinely obtain through torture. Torture does not reveal truth. Tortured men will say anything the torturers want to hear. So we do not even know whether the four men killed are really the ones who raped and killed the doctor in Hyderabad.
The same Hyderabad police which mocked the desperate attempts of the victim's parents to find their daughter, which is issuing "Dos and Donts for women", i.e telling women to stay home after 8 pm because the police can't/won't do their job of keeping streets safe, is now telling us to believe they caught and "punished" the rapists, and acted as Judge, jury and executioner. This is a cruel joke.
Women's movement groups will be the first to say -- this is not justice. This is a ploy to shut down our demand for accountability from the police, judiciary, governments, and justice and dignity for women. Instead of being accountable to his job and answering our questions about his Government's failures to safeguard women's rights, the Telangana CM and his police have acted as leaders of a lynch mob.
For those arguing this kind of custodial killing is a "deterrent", think again. The Hyderabad and Telangana police are notorious for this kind of custodial murder. In 2008, the Hyderabad police committed the custodial murder of three men accused in an acid attack case. That murder didn't deter crimes against women in Hyderabad, Telangana, or India. Acid attacks, rapes, murders of women continue to happen with impunity.
A police force that can kill with impunity, no questions asked, can also rape and kill women, confident that no questions will be asked
We demand a thorough investigation into the alleged "encounter". The police personnel responsible must be arrested and prosecuted, and must be asked to prove in court that all four men were killed in self defence.
Why is this important, not only for human rights but for women's rights? Because a police force that can kill with impunity, no questions asked, can also rape and kill women with impunity, confident that no questions will be asked. Remember the case of teenage Meena Khalkho in Chhattisgarh, gang raped and killed by Chhattisgarh police who then dressed up the killing as an encounter, branding Meena a Maoist.
A judicial enquiry found that the encounter was staged to cover up a gang rape and murder by the police. That gang of rapists and killers are yet to face trial, yet to face any kind of justice.
Many TV channels and right-wing social media armies will tell you that we, the women's movement activists, are the enemy because we do not accept custodial murder and lynching as justice.
These channels and armies are the same who defended the rallies held to protect the accused in the Kathua case, the same who defend the Kathua rapists even after they were convicted in a court of law!
They are the same who brand the complainant in the CJI Gogoi sexual harassment case as a liar, the same who slut-shame JNU and Jadavpur women students who complain of sexual harassment, the same who defend the gang rape accused MLA Kuldeep Sengar.
We, activists of the women's movement, continue to demand substantive justice for women. We want the police to do its job, and protect women's rights, not act as Judge and executioner.
We do not want a mythical "collective conscience" appeased by the murder of men the police declares to be rapists. We want society's conscience to change and be more respectful and supportive of women complainants in rape and sexual harassment cases, and more alert and active in rejecting victim blaming and rape culture.

Comments

Fully agree with the statement

TRENDING

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Maize, bajra, jute, banana cultivation banned off West Bengal border: Plea to NHRC

Counterview Desk  West Bengal-based human rights defender Kirity Roy, who is secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Manch, and is national convenor of the Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission, second within few days, has bought to light one more case of trespassing and destruction of a fertile banana plantation by BSF personnel along the Indo-Bangladesh border, stating, despite a written complaint to the police has taken "no initiative".

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

Mahanadi delta: Aggressive construction in flood plains, reduced fish stock, pollution

By Sudhansu R Das  Frequent natural calamities, unemployment, low farmers’ income, increase in crime rate and lack of quality human resources to strike a balance between growth and environment etc. continue to haunt the state. The state should delve into the root causes of poverty, unemployment and natural calamities.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Narmada Valley's fossil evidence: Ground for 'nationalists' to argue primates' India roots?

By Saurav Sarkar*  In December 1982, a geologist digging in India’s Central Narmada Valley found something he did not expect. Arun Sonakia, who at the time worked for the Geological Survey of India, unearthed a hominid fossil skullcap from the Pleistocene era. The discovery sent shockwaves through the field of paleoanthropology and put South Asia on the map of human prehistory. Some experts concluded that the skull likely belonged to a member of a predecessor species of ours, Homo heidelbergensis , or perhaps was a hybrid of homo species, while Sonakia himself suggested “ an affinity… to Homo erectus .”

Living standards in 'model' Gujarat worse than major states: Govt of India document

By Rajiv Shah  Amidst raging controversy over whether the latest Government of India’s “Household Consumption Expenditure Survey 2022-23 Fact Sheet: August 2022-July 2023” suggests that India’s poverty levels are actually down to 4.5 to 5%  during the decade-long Narendra Modi rule, a state-wise breakup in the 27-page document shows that “model” Gujarat’s average consumption expenditure is far below most of the so-called developed states.

WTO 'loses legitimacy': CSOs shut out of normal participation in MC13 at Abu Dhabi

By Deborah James  Given unprecedented repression of participants, the 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) at Abu Dhabi should not continue until historical and international standards and human rights for participation in global governance are restored.

Not livable in summer, Chitrakut PM-Awas houses 'push' tribals in moneylender trap

By Bharat Dogra*  Those who are in-charge of implementing the PM-Awas scheme of rural housing can rightly take pride in what has been achieved in Dafai hamlet (Karvi block, Chitrakut district, Uttar Pradesh). All the Kol tribal families here are extremely poor and vulnerable. In a rare achievement, almost all of them have received housing assistance under PM Awas.